April 20, 2011, 10:38 AM — Websites designed to take advantage of the unique features in Internet Explorer 9 provide an immersive user experience that can increase customer loyalty and drive traffic. To obtain these benefits, though, you'll need to optimize your site to capitalize on IE 9.
The latest flagship browser from Microsoft is more than just an incremental update. It offers unprecedented integration between Windows and the Web, essentially extending the desktop experience to include the Web itself.
As our use of the Web has evolved, more people are embracing cloud-based applications such as Gmail, Box.net, and Mint.com. The experience of using sites like these is more like using a traditional desktop application, though the application lives out on the Web. IE 9 can provide a similar type of interactive experience for any Website. To start, any user can get this integration simply by dragging a Website icon to the Windows 7 task bar, just as you might with any software application.
Pinning a site to the task bar makes it more visible and directly accessible for the user. But to give users a reason to want to pin your site to the task bar--and more importantly, to give them the means to interact with your site as if it were an application installed on their local PC--you need to take advantage of Jump Lists, a Windows 7 feature that displays menu options for jumping directly to specific functions, or for accessing frequently or recently used features.
Windows 7 Task Bar
IE 9 also ties in with unique features of Windows 7 that enable users to treat your Website as if it were a local application. You can create custom Jump List menus that appear when users click your Website's icon on the Windows task bar. Jump Lists let users access frequently or recently used content, and receive dynamic alerts when new content appears.
Making suitable tweaks to customize your Website for IE 9 does require at least some understanding of HTML and Web coding. With a little knowledge, though, you can do the job in just a few minutes.
One trick is to drag the icon for any Website from IE 9's address bar to your Windows 7 task bar, pinning it there permanently. You'll see the site's logo on the task bar, and you can click it to access that Website instantly.